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10 Products To Help You Master Singlish

Aug 09 2015

Singlish is undeniably the unofficial common language of all Singaporeans. Despite our attempts to speak good and proper English, we can’t help that Singlish comes so comfortably and naturally to us. It is only when you try to teach your foreign friends Singlish that you realise how complex the language is. How do you exactly explain what ‘lah' is and the many different ways it can be used?

Here we have compiled, for the beginner or even the expert, some tools to help you in your proficiency in this versatile language called Singlish.

1. Singlish Perpetual Calendar, The Farm Store, $18.00

The best way to learn a new language is to practise it every day. This Singlish Perpetual Calendar will help you to generate unique and new Singlish phrases daily, as well as provide the explanations of these Singlish words. For instance, "Wah Lao! Sian sia!" (as show in photo above) is actually "OMG! Boring/Tired man!" in Hokkien and Malay. Good for locals and foreigners alike.

2. Uniquely Singaporean Phrase Tee, Simitaiji, $25.00

Have these Singlish phrases on hand, or at least on a t-shirt, for those crucial and apt times when you really need them. Here's a lowdown of what's on the t-shirt:

Spoil Market (verb): Use when someone has done something that will mess up your standards of doing the same thing.

Itchy Backside: Commonly used in crappy situations that could have been avoided but were not

Neh Neh Pok: Breasts

Go Stun: Go backwards or reverse, derived from 'go astern'

Agaration: Estimation

Pang Seh: Being let off, in Hokkien. Often used on those who cancel on others in the last minute

Orbigood: Commonly used as an exclamation when someone has done something despite your warning

Relak One Corner: Finding a spot and chill out

Eye Power: Commonly used when someone offers a look, rather than a helping hand

3. Singlish Poster, angmohdan, $15.00

Pretty much your holy grail to Singlish, this print will be perfect for your home and office, making these timeless Singlish phrases convenient for reference and fun for discovery at the same time. Some Singlish vocabularies to ace your Singlish, or at least seem like it:

Pai Seh: Commonly used as an alternative to expressions like "Excuse me", "I'm so embarrassed!" or "I'm sorry".

Boh Liao: A comment you can throw on someone who is being lame

Kiasu: Literally "scared of losing" in Hokkien

Chop Chop Kali Pok: A slang for rushing someone 

Talk Cock: Talk nonsense

4. SHIOK! Greeting Cards (Set of 6), PEEPnPRESS, $18.00

Be it for a local friend who is away from Singapore, or a foreign pal who couldn't get enough of Singlish, send your regards to them via these set of cards. 

5. Singlish Notebook, The FARM STORE, $32.00

This Singlish notebook is the ultimate gift for almost anyone because which other notebook allows you to take notes and explain Singlish like a dictionary simultaneously?  

6. My First Pictorial Book of Dialect Idioms & Slangs , Sibeynostalgic, $25.00

Not sure if you have realised, a lot of Singlish terms are derived from dialects like Hokkien and Cantonese. For the advanced learner, this pictorial book is chock full of phrases in dialect. Learn the actual meaning behind familiar sayings and weld your Singlish more accurately! 

7. I Woke Up Liddis T-Shirt, Temasek Clothings, $30.00 

Dress yourself up with some Singlish swag! Tell the world that you woke up liddis - flawless and beautiful.

8. Choy Charm Necklace, The Farm Store, $12.00

Superstitious? Get your very own choy charm necklace for when someone says something inauspicious.  

9. Bo Jio? T-Shirt, Statement, $29.90

 

The next time someone forgets to invite you to a great party, wear this shirt and ask them why they have yet to "jio", or "invite" you. Sufficiently awkward but definitely with a sense of humour. 

10. "My Mother Says...", Plus Collaboratives, $25.00

 

After learning your basic Singlish words and phrases, test your skills with this book of old wives' tales, visualised with creative and hilarious photography. Each "My Mother Says..." book comes accompanied by a complimentary "My Father Says..." notebook because the series isn't complete without both parents nagging! 

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